Nebraska December 31, 2017
This Dreamy Train-Themed Trip Through Nebraska Will Take You On The Journey Of A Lifetime
Trains play a major role in Nebraska’s history. Early industry relied on the railroads, and many of our towns are located where they are just because of the proximity of railroad tracks in their early days. Today we rely less on trains for transportation of people, but they are still an important component in our state’s economy. If you want to celebrate the fascinating relationship between Nebraska and trains, this epic train-themed trip is the perfect way.
This trip will take us from western Nebraska to eastern Nebraska (or vice versa, depending on your starting point), stopping at some of the state's many railroad-themed attractions. To see the route in detail and modify the directions as needed,
get the interactive map right here
1. Bailey Yard and Golden Spike Tower, North Platte
Bailey Yard is the largest railroad classification yard in the world, and the Golden Spike Tower is full of interesting railroad history. You can climb the tower (or take the elevator) to an observation deck where you can watch the busy Bailey Yard below.
See our article about Bailey Yard and the Golden Spike Tower here
1249 N Homestead Rd, North Platte
2. Cody Park Railroad Museum, North Platte
You won't have to travel far to get to the next stop on our epic journey; Cody Park Railroad Museum is also in North Platte. While you're there you can get an up-close look at two of the largest locomotives ever built by Union Pacific, among other wonders. The train display is open from Memorial Day through the 4th weekend in September.
1601 N Jeffers St, North Platte
3. The Station Restaurant, Alma
Next, head to The Station Restaurant in the tiny town of Alma for some refreshments. The building was once the train station in Roseland, Nebraska before it was moved and repurposed. Today it's a fun small-town gathering place serving hearty midwestern fare and the coldest beer around.
See our article about The Station here
408 US-183, Alma
4. Trails and Rails Museum/Buffalo County Historical Society, Kearney
The grounds of this fun museum are full of relics from Nebraska transportation history. The museum's main building is in an old Union Pacific depot. A steam engine, flat car, and caboose are nearby, and a little "village" contains buildings from the time of the railroad's heyday in Nebraska.
710 W 11th Street, Kearney
5. Stuhr Museum Railroad Town, Grand Island
The Stuhr Museum is a fantastic place to visit altogether, but the 19th Century Railroad Town is a definite can't-miss experience when you're there. Step into the past and experience what life was like way back when the railroad ruled the country.
3133 W US Highway 34, Grand Island
Bonus: Stolley Park Railroad, Grand Island
Although it isn't officially on our road trip, Stolley Park is another Grand Island attraction that all train enthusiasts should experience. The park features a little train that offers fun rides for a small price. It's only open in the summer, and due to the open-air nature of the ride it sometimes closes down due to extreme heat or cold or other inclement weather.
Keep up with opening dates and other news on the railroad's Facebook page
6. Rock Island Depot Museum, Fairbury
Many years ago, Fairbury was the division headquarters for the Rock Island Railroad. The depot in Fairbury still stands as a wonderful museum that will enlighten visitors about the railroad's history in the Cornhusker State. (Open Friday through Sunday only.)
910 Bacon Rd, Fairbury
7. Brownville Depot and Railroad History Museum, Brownville
Next, head on over to the tiny village of Brownville, right on the Nebraska/Missouri border, for another quaint piece of railroad history. Brownville has so many museums that it can be hard to decide which to visit first, but train lovers should make this one a priority. Tour the renovated depot building and see all of the great transportation artifacts, then wander through the caboose. (Open Saturday and Sunday only.)
U.S. Highway 136 and Water Street, Brownville
8. Greenwood Depot Museum, Greenwood
This vintage depot building is located in the Greenwood Village Park. It's the oldest railroad museum in Cass County and provides a home for a large collection of historical items from the county and the state. It's open April through October, by appointment only.
440 Broad St, Greenwood
9. Durham Museum, Omaha
The Durham Museum is a treasure trove of all kinds of historical items, but of special interest to train enthusiasts will be the big retired train on the lower level. Visitors can walk through it from one end to the other, passing through sleeping cars, dining cars, a caboose, and more. Don't forget to watch the model railroad run on its tracks for a while; if you look closely you'll see some interesting characters in the tiny town.
801 South 10th Street, Omaha
10. Railcar Modern American Kitchen, Omaha
Let's end our train-themed road trip with a delicious meal at Railcar Modern American Kitchen. The fun interior was created to be reminiscent of a vintage train car, and the menu was developed to represent the variety of cultures encountered by railroad travelers in a bygone era.
Read our article about the restaurant here
1814 N 144th Street, Omaha
This 10-hour road trip would be best undertaken on a long summer weekend so you’ll find all of the attractions open. However, you can still visit several of these locations in the off-season; just be sure to check that they’ll be open before you make plans.
While this trip visits some great locations, there are also lots of other railroad-themed attractions all throughout Nebraska. Is your favorite included in the road trip? Tell us all about it in the comments!
Want even more awesome Nebraska attractions? Check out our
ultimate bucket list for everyone in Nebraska.